Ask Ray Beshoff to Keep Fresno FC in the Central Valley

Ask Ray Beshoff to Keep Fresno FC in the Central Valley

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Brian Stepanek started this petition to Residents of the Central Valley

Dear Mr. Beshoff,

A little more than two years ago, you stood in front of community leaders, reporters, and fans in the concourse at Chukchansi Park in Downtown Fresno and introduced a brand new USL franchise to our great city. One part of your speech that day that really meant a lot to us was how much you emphasized your commitment to Fresno and to the Foxes. Soccer fans all over the region were overjoyed knowing that we were finally getting a professional soccer team, led by an owner who was extremely passionate about both soccer and the Central Valley. In the two years since that announcement, our city has embraced Fresno FC, and many residents have become steadfast, highly loyal fans. While our ticket sales might not have matched some of the most successful clubs in the USL like New Mexico, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati, we have still produced a respectable attendance for a second-year team in our league and for a city of our size.

Many of Fresno FC’s fans are highly invested in the team, and we have fans that regularly travel from as far away as Minnesota and Japan to watch the Foxes play. The team has become an extremely important part in the lives of many Valley residents. It has inspired three fans to create the Fox Trot Podcast, which captures their love for the team, the city the Foxes call home, and the USL Western Conference. It has helped one of those podcasters through the loss of a father and the loneliness of separation and depression.

The team has also become an important inspiration to our younger fans, and many of Fresno FC’s players have become role models for the Valley’s soccer youth. These younger soccer fans, many of whom aspire to also be on a professional team one day, look forward to watching their favorite players on the pitch at every match. Most of these youth were heartbroken when they learned that there might not be a team to root for at all next season. Mr. Beshoff, we know you are a businessperson, but we also ask you to consider all the lives that your team has had a positive impact on over the last two years, as well as all those who will be negatively impacted by moving Fresno FC to another market.

We also understand that the team’s financial numbers have not been exactly what you had hoped for at this point. Even more importantly, we know that your ownership group has had a difficult time finding land to build a stadium, and that the City of Fresno probably hasn’t been as helpful as they could have been in helping with the search. However, we also ask you to look at the short time frame that has transpired since the team was announced and began play, as well as the average time it takes a USL club (or any professional team, for that matter) to find a stadium location and to establish a secure financial footing, and to ask yourself, “will moving the team to another location definitely produce a better result and better attendance, and how much work will it take to completely start over from scratch?”

We, as Fresno FC fans, are willing to help you and the rest of the ownership group in any way we can to help keep the team in Fresno. Many of us have already drafted letters to the mayor of the City of Fresno and to individual council members, letting them know that we expect more action from them. However, most people in Fresno and the Valley feel completely blindsided by this decision. So, instead of abandoning this project that you have already spent so much time, effort, and money on, we ask you instead to join our campaign to find a proper stadium location before making a rash decision like moving or completely shutting down the team. Most importantly, we ask you to honor the commitment you made to all of us on that summer day two years ago and keep the team in Fresno until we can get a stadium deal worked out.

Sincerely,

Fresno FC Fans

 

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